After a Saturday of fighting, Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, woke up on Sunday morning to explosions. Fighting between the army and paramilitaries for control of the country has left at least 56 civilians dead and "tens" among the security forces, reports the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, an independent and pro-democracy organization.
Three World Food Program (WFP) aid workers have also been killed in the fighting in Sudan, the UN envoy announced on Sunday in the Northeast African country under crossfire for more than 24 hours. army and its paramilitary rivals.
They were killed "Saturday while doing their work in North Darfur", in the west near Chad, which closed its border on Saturday because of the violence, Volker Perthes said in a statement. He adds that "humanitarian buildings have been hit and others looted in Darfur", a historic stronghold of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo, known as "Hemedti", won by fighting between the army and paramilitaries. On Sunday, the spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for those responsible to be "brought to justice as soon as possible".
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors announced that it had counted some 600 injured, including among the security forces. But due to travel difficulties linked to the clashes, the many victims cannot be transferred to hospitals.
The UN Security Council will address the situation in Sudan behind closed doors on Monday, diplomatic sources told AFP.
Throughout the day, calls for a ceasefire have multiplied. The UN, Washington, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Riyadh, the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, all called for an end to the fighting. In vain. At the end of the day, the Sudanese army even asked the population to stay at home, as it continued its airstrikes against the paramilitary bases.
The chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will travel "immediately" to Sudan "to engage the parties towards a ceasefire", the pan-African organization announced on Sunday.
Expressing "deep concern" over the situation, the AU also called on the forces of the two generals in command of Sudan to "protect civilians", in a statement issued after an emergency meeting of the Security Council. organization peace and security on Sunday afternoon. No additional details on this peacekeeping mission were immediately available.
Mohamed Hamdane Daglo's Rapid Support Forces (RSF), thousands of ex-Darfur war militiamen turned army auxiliaries, said they control the presidential residence, airport and other key infrastructure. While the army denies taking the airport, it acknowledges that paramilitary forces "burned civilian planes, including one from Saudi Airlines", which the company confirmed.
Faced with the refusal to stop the fighting, the Arab League announced an emergency meeting on Sunday on Sudan, at the request of Cairo, where it sits, and Riyadh, two major allies of the Sudanese army. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, for his part, called on the two belligerents: the head of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, and the boss of the paramilitaries, Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as "Hemedti", but also Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to demand "an immediate end to the violence".
But the dialogue looks complicated. On Al-Jazeera Channel, Commander Hemedti said he was adamant and asserted that the RSF "will not stop until they take control of all the military bases".
On both sides, the hushed negotiations under the aegis of diplomats and other polite discussions are over. The army mobilized its planes to strike - and "destroy", she said - RSF bases in Khartoum. As for calls to return to the negotiating table, the army replied that it was "impossible before the dissolution of the RSF".
The latter call on the 45 million Sudanese and even the military to "join them" and turn against the army.
During the putsch in October 2021, Hemedti and General Burhane joined forces to oust civilians from power. But over time, Hemedti never stopped denouncing the coup. Even recently, he sided with civilians – therefore against the army in political negotiations – blocking discussions and therefore any solution to the crisis in Sudan.
For the experts, the two commanders have not ceased in recent days to raise the stakes as civilians and the international community try to make them sign a political agreement supposed to relaunch the democratic transition.